Chelsea: Jose Mourinho should demand goals from Diego Costa rather than flawed sense of justice
It is only a matter of time. The t-shirts will soon be printed.
For his services to fair play, Diego Costa should be given the freedom of Fulham Broadway tube station without any further hesitation.
Like Luis Suarez at Liverpool, we've all got it all wrong about this bloke. Give 'King' Kenny Dalglish a bell. He knows a man who knows a man who can get a few tops wheeled out before the weekend. Cheap as chips.
After being surrounded and almost attacked at the full-time whistle by Paris Saint-Germain's Yohan Cabaye amid a few disgruntled members of the visiting bench, it is time Diego had another collective arm put around him.
Jose and the rest of the Chelsea squad can offer their support by wearing images of Spain's wronged forward against Southampton on Sunday.
You can see it now: 'Justice for the lone striker' while the fans sing 'Diego'. Costa fits right in with the victim culture that has been allowed to permeate the atmosphere around Stamford Bridge.
Has there been a player who has suffered more for aspiring to the Corinthinan spirit than the stainless Diego?
It was there for all to see when he made an honest 50-yard dash against PSG around the half-hour mark. Not to try to score, but to demand a red card for Zlatan Ibrahimovic after he challenged for a loose ball with Oscar, who appeared to be suffering worse pain than Brazil's 7-1 flogging by Germany at the World Cup.
He got his wish seconds later when the Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers disgracefully opted for red.
Yes, Costa should have had a penalty when he was felled by Edinson Cavani in the first half, but you tend to find karma comes back to haunt you when you are failing to conduct yourself properly.
He was apparently elbowed by David Luiz off the ball, but then he also threw Marquinhos to the deck. A man's game is rapidly becoming a sport for cheaters, whiners, actors and snitches. And it was never more apparent than at Stamford Bridge.
Diego Costa's behaviour is generally lamentable, but it is debatable whether he will be reeled in by his paymasters.
Forget the fact that his conduct is as about as commendable as the great thinkers of our time who are looking to turn social housing in Chelsea into luxury apartments at the William Sutton Estate. Probably for men with the bank accounts of Premier League players to purchase.
But stand back, and ask yourself this: is Diego Costa's attitude correct for such an elite player?
And ask yourself: why were PSG so keen to get to access to Costa when their team had just completed one of the most impressive and important victories in their history?
And ask yourself: what did Diego Costa contribute to Chelsea's Champions League outings?
And the answer in black and white is a big fat zero. Costa failed to score for Chelsea in any Champions League matches this season. He failed to score when it was needed most on a wretched night that saw Chelsea tossed out of the tournament by 10 men.
He has failed to score in eight hours and 28 minutes of trying for Chelsea in Europe. Yes, he is the Premier League's leading scorer with 17 goals, but there will soon be no 'English' clubs - using the term loosely - left in the Champions League, with Arsenal and Manchester City almost certain to be eliminated. As an evaluation of the monied Premier League, it is a damning fact of where England stands in the world game.
Like the keyboard warriors who feel it is somehow acceptable for Jeremy Clarkson, a spectator at the Bridge, to continue presenting Top Gear even if he is found guilty of punching a fellow human being, there will always be apologists for talented footballers. Especially when they are scoring goals for your club.
But there is a greater point to such happenings: Costa could still be doing all his exceptional stuff, creating space, working the channels and outmuscling defenders even if he is struggling to score, without the add ons that have made him as much of a sideshow as his manager tends to become at clubs.
Thiago Motta, Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Marquinhos. You name them, Costa was trying on his form of gamesmanship with them. This is a grown man. Is this really what Chelsea handed over £32 million to Atletico Madrid for?
Costa is always sticking his face into business that is not his. If he was as keen to get his snout on the end of a few crosses in the danger areas, Chelsea would not be outside looking in when the Champions League quarter-final draw is carried out a week tomorrow in Nyon.
Chelsea are responsible for their players. And Mourinho stands accused of failing to extract the best from Diego Costa in a match when the fourth favourites for the world's biggest club tournament became imposters.
Who cares about public relations? Mourinho created a monster by backing Costa when he stamped on the Liverpool player Emre Can in January, and was handed a retrospective three-match ban.
Costa reminds you of an extra from Scarface. He behaves no better than a lout at times. His eye has been allowed to be taken off the ball - his ego suitably massaged - and Chelsea have paid a heavy price in Europe.
Costa last scored a goal for Chelsea against Swansea on January 17. He is off form in several aspects, but has not been helped by his team leader.
Like Mourinho, Costa is making a name for himself for all the wrong reasons. But Jose is not really the bloke to offer wise counsel on such delicate matters when he struggles to avoid becoming a man child.